Vice President Mike Pence says the United States has made ‘real progress’ in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and insists the country is on the ‘far side of the epidemic’.
In an interview with Fox & Friends on Monday, Pence said there had been a nationwide decline in hospitalizations, new cases and fatalities since Americans started adhering to social distancing guidelines put out by the White House a month ago.
‘We’ve seen real progress all across the country,’ Pence said.
‘Hospitalizations are declining, we’ve seen a steady decline in cases across the country and fatalities continue to decline.
‘We are on the far side of this epidemic in many of the places most impacted and that’s given us an opportunity not just to issue, as we did now more than a month ago, the guidelines to open America up again.’
In an interview with Fox & Friends on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence says the United States has made ‘real progress’ in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and insists the country is on the ‘far side of the epidemic’
The total number of infections across the US is now over 1.6 million and more than 97,000 Americans have died.
The US is on track to surpass 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the next few days.
Pence said the already high death toll could have been worse if people hadn’t embraced social distancing.
‘Because the American people embraced the president’s leadership, listened to state and local authorities… tens of thousands of families have been spared loss,’ Pence said.
Last week, 10 states – including Arkansas, Alabama, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin – reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases.
Despite the COVID-19 threat far from being eradicated, large groups of people were spotted out over the Memorial Day weekend failing to adhere to social distancing rules in parts of the country.
When asked about scenes, Pence said there may still be instances where people need to be remind of the importance of social distancing as states continue to loosen restrictions.
In Texas, dozens of people flocked to rivers to go tubing. The tubing businesses were allowed to open and they warned people to only stay in small groups but the rules were ignored on the water
Revelers are seen celebrating Memorial Day weekend at Osage Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri on Saturday
Thousands of people flocked to Lake of the Ozarks in Missorui where they packed into swim up bars and pool parties
‘We have every confidence that as these restrictions are loosened… the American people are going to step forward and put this country back to work,’ he said.
On the Sunday talk shows, Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said she was ‘very concerned’ about scenes of people crowding together over the weekend.
‘We really want to be clear all the time that social distancing is absolutely critical. And if you can´t social distance and you’re outside, you must wear a mask,’ she said on ABC’s ‘This Week.’
In Missouri, people packed bars and restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks, a vacation spot popular with Chicagoans, over the weekend.
In Daytona Beach, Florida, gunfire erupted Saturday night along a beachside road where more than 200 people had gathered and were seen partying and dancing despite the restrictions.
On Georgia’s Tybee Island, the beach was filled with families, bicyclists, beach chairs, games, swimmers and more.
Officials in California said most people were covering their faces and keep their distance even as they ventured to beaches and parks. Many Southern California beaches were open only for swimming, running and other activities.